From Christian Bale as the title character in “Howl’s Moving Castle” to Tina Fey as the mom in “Ponyo,” Studio Ghibli movies tend to attract huge stars for their dubs. For their latest, Hayao Miyazaki‘s final film “The Boy and the Heron,” GKIDS has assembled what might be the studio’s starriest voice cast yet.

Titled “How Do You Live?” in Japan, “The Boy and the Heron” takes place in the middle of World War II, and follows a teenager living with his father and aunt after the death of his mother as he uncovers a secret, hidden world. Main character Mahito is voiced by Luca Padovan, best known for the TV series “You,” while the denizens he meets of the hidden world are voiced by a variety of A-list talent, including Bale returning to Ghibli, as well as Dave Bautista, Gemma Chan, Willem Dafoe, Karen Fukuhara, Mark Hamill, Robert Pattinson, and Florence Pugh. The stars recorded their dub under the SAG-AFTRA Foreign Dubbing Agreement.

“The Boy and the Heron” initially premiered in Japanese theaters this July, where it received strong first reactions and grossed over $56 million. For the Japanese release, Ghibli opted for an unusual release strategy, purposefully keeping plot details hidden by releasing zero marketing for the film aside from a single poster. The GKids release has been a bit more traditional, with some promotion after the film screened at both the Toronto International Film Festival and the New York Film Festival, receiving critical acclaim out of both.

Miyazaki wrote and directed “The Boy and the Heron,” after initially announcing his intention to retire from filmmaking with his 2013 feature “The Wind Rises.” The director has stated that the movie will be his official final film. “The Boy and the Heron” is produced by Toshio Suzuki, the president of Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki’s longtime collaborator. Joe Hisaishi composed the musical score, while J-pop star Kenshi Yonezu performs the theme song “Spinning Globe.”

GKIDS will release “The Boy and the Heron” in both the original Japanese and the dubbed English versions. Special preview engagements for the film begin in New York and Los Angeles on November 22, before Thanksgiving. The film will expand nationwide and to Canada on December 8. Watch the English dub trailer below.

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